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Don’t Overlook the Importance of Contact Center Leadership

confident leaderYour contact center has been operating for years, and you still have not achieved the success you want with customer service. You can’t figure out why. You’ve tried everything - implementing metrics, changing metrics, changing consultants - and still customer service is suffering.

Too many organizations either give up or keep recycling through the same old solutions with no success. Don’t overlook the value of exceptional leadership. This may seem simple, but great leadership can be in short supply in the contact center industry.

First, we have to acknowledge that not just anyone with a management background can manage a contact center successfully. contact centers are a totally different dynamic than many other managerial roles. The contact center supervisor, manager, director, and vice president each must have vision, execution skills, a superior understanding of contact center operations, the contact center environment, and the behaviors and needs of agents.

They also must be willing to roll up their sleeves and be engaged with all employees within the contact center, as well as with the surrounding departments within an organization. The last point of this point is important and often overlooked. Often, the contact center holds all the keys to an organization, but most organizations don’t fully partner with the resource.

Often, leadership is not rocket science, and there is no secret formula. It just requires foresight, commitment, and a willingness to adapt. Here are three traits of great contact center leadership I have witnessed over the years:

Leaders invest in the areas that most need improvement

There was a leader who had just inherited a new team. He spent time working with team members to see who could handle the workload on their own and who needed the most coaching and feedback. The ones he felt were capable of succeeding on their own he left to accomplish the goals at hand. Then he devised a plan to work with those who would need coaching and feedback and gave them extra attention and resources. The project was expected to take a year, but it only took six months.

Leaders clearly communicate the plan

At the very start of the pandemic, a senior leader discussed in concrete terms how he was planning to work differently, given the current business climate. This encouraged his employees to think about the changes each of them needed to make, and set the tone during a turbulent time.

Leaders prioritize developing their team

I worked with a manager to gauge the most important communication and consulting skill sets and needs of his team; this then formed the basis for comprehensive training. He led by example by making communication and learning and development a priority for his own communication team; this was so they could grow and add even more value to the company.

In short, the contact center leader is devoted to the success of everyone in the contact center. Take the extra time and dedicate the extra resources to find or develop those who have right skillset to lead your contact center.